Last weekend JHU community volunteers dug in to a large planting project sponsored by the Friends of Wyman Park Dell. It was is part of the implementation of a master plan prepared by Mahan Rykiel, a Wyman Park landscape architect. Many others who care about wildlife and landscaping contributed to the effort. Duncan Stuart, a certified arborist, contributed many volunteer hours removing invasive species, in order to prepare the way for Saturday’s massive planting. Brenton Landscape Architecture prepared the detailed landscape plan. A highlight of the landscape plan? Seventeen dogwood trees that now edge the southern rim of the dell. Eighty-seven native shrubs and trees were planted on the forested slopes of the dell.
Plant materials included spicebush, arrowood, winterberry, low bush blueberry, chokeberry, shadbush, and the previously mentioned dogwood. The planting of some of the specified woody shrubs and trees has been deferred until later in the season. Brenton Landscape Architecture’s design for the dell also includes 2,000 perennials and ferns. The landscapers anticipate that the perennials and ferns will be installed in the fall of 2014.
Replacing exotic invasive plant species with natives, greatly enhances habitat value for birds and other charismatic wildlife, which is especially important at this time of radical climate change and loss of wildlife diversity. Approximately 50 fraternity and sorority members from Johns Hopkins showed up in good spirits on the rainy Saturday morning to assist with the planting. Given the weekend weather, watering of the plant materials, at time of installation was not of great concern. Friends of Wyman Park Dell will be looking for volunteers for the summer and fall to maintain the new plantings, and for future installations. Please contact them at http://www.wymanparkdell.org/ if you’d like to lend a hand.